Stephen Keenan prepares to move to El Salvador
Blog post written by Jenni Ramsey
Mike and I were privileged to interview Stephen Keenan at The Village Church of Irvine this past Sunday. Stephen spoke about God's calling on his life to serve in El Salvador and shared how he is able to relate to the fatherless in El Salvador since he grew up without a father. His personal journey as a Christian reveals the healing power of the Gospel. He also shared about his grandfather's legacy in missions and it was an emotional morning as we officially commissioned Stephen as a Village Church missionary.
Stephen will fly to El Salvador on January 14, where he'll serve with Sus Hijos/His Children for one year. It has been so encouraging for me to personally be involved in Stephen's calling to El Salvador. Stephen and his mom, Stephanie, first served on one of our summer teams when he was just 14 years old. He's been serving yearly since that time and is dearly loved by the people of El Salvador.
Stephen originally planned to move to El Salvador in the summer of 2013 after graduating from high school. However, he suffered a serious back injury just two weeks before the trip and had to postpone his move. To read more about Stephens injury and calling to El Salvador, click on the following publications:
Brethren Magazine - Brethren Christian Junior and Senior High School - Fall 2013
"Mission: Detoured - Sometimes God Reveals Direction by Accident"
The Orange County Register - July 30, 2013
"I'm Glad I Can Walk Again"
Stephen and his grandma, Roberta, served on our Guatemala team last Thanksgiving as he recovered from his back injury. Needless to say, the Keenans have become like family to our family!
Stephen has already received generous support from family and friends. His monthly budget is $600/month. If you would like to support Stephen in his work, go to www.worldmissionsadvance.org, where you can donate online. Please pray for Stephen as he transitions to life in El Salvador. He will specifically be serving the young men who have phased out of government orphanages and live in Sus Hijos' boys' transition home. Pray for the Holy Spirit to use him powerfully as he shares his story, serves these young men and walks with them in daily life. Stephen will also be involved in orphanage ministry, feeding the homeless, special needs centers, Sus Hijos' new restaurant and building projects.
Last night we had a gathering of family and friends come together to encourage and pray for Stephen. More than 50 people came to show their love and support. Thank you for praying for Stephen and for partnering with him in the work of the gospel!
Stephanie, Roberta and I will be visiting Stephen and the Sus Hijos/His Children ministry team in March of 2015. We will be doing missionary care/support during on this trip and attending the quinceanera for one of the missionary families that we partner with. We also look forward to serving alongside Stephen with our three short-term teams in the summer of 2015.
"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers in to his harvest field.” - Matthew 9:35-38